Having said all of that brings me to why I am writing this blog tonight. I found out that he was 10 years younger than me. Ten years...I thought what have I done in the past ten years. When you start putting your life in sections, each one a decade long, you can see that your lifetime consists of many lives. My first few lives consisted of my childhood, marriage and my children's childhood. All of the blessings and wonderments that came in those lives have brought me to where?
Where? is my second career. The career I wished I had began with. I am a Paraprofessional at the Junior High where I attended school. I began this career about 5 years into my Disability Years. In 2003 I was working at York International. I had been there for 20 years working as a lead person on an assembly line. The work was physical and was not kind to someone with sever arthritis and fibromyalgia. I went out in January and never returned. I was lost. I applied for and received SSDI and at the age of 46 I was sitting waiting for what. In 2008 I began substituting for the Moore Public School system. Central Junior High is just about a mile from my home, the school I was an alumni of, and had the best staff a school could hope for. Everyone from the janitor to the principal made me feel golden. A few years into subbing I was offered a long term sub job for a para on maternity leave. During this time because of one thing after another, I spent the whole year in that classroom.
When summer came along, I found I was in a dilemma.I was offered this job however I wanted it. I could become a full time employee, or I could continue to just be the full time sub. I had fallen in love with all the students in that classroom. They needed a full time paraprofessional. But working this many hours, my SSDI would probably be taken away. People called me crazy and my mom was worried that I would lose my income and not be able to work. I thought about it all summer long and 2 weeks before school started I made my decision. I was going to begin my new career. This was a job I actually loved and was so glad to get up out of bed for. The principal had to jump through some hoops to make it happen for me. Did I mention that they have the best staff ever.
The school is a Title 1 school which means that all the paraprofessionals have to be Highly Qualified. I had to take a special test to become qualified as I have no college education. Sweating bullets, I passed the test making a score of 478 of 480 possible points. An angel must have been on my shoulder that day because math was not one of my strongest subjects. I know the basics as I was taught, but that was a long time ago.
Things are not the same.
I seem to be rambling here which is exactly what I am doing. I began writing this several weeks ago and just now came back to it. This is how unorganized my life is. But it is my life and we are talking about the past ten years. I have a new career that I love. I have had 3 more grandchildren to add to the 5 I already had.
We also bought a motorcycle and joined a riding association. I should say my husband bought a motorcycle. I was against it. But he bought it and since he promised me our entire married life to show me the United States, I thought I better climb on and ride. We have met some amazing friends that I would not have crossed paths with except for the motorcycle. And like he promised we have begun our journey of the United States.
Seeing it from the motorcycle is a wonderful experience. I didn't realize how much difference it made until this past summer. Our second trip to Yellowstone, our friends health kept them in the car. June in the mountains is a lot cooler than August. I rode many days in the car with our friends. And when we were in Yellowstone, it was rainy also. My husband joined us in the cage. aka the car. The experience is just not the same. I realized how lucky I was to see it from the bike the first time. For instance, in Colorado, I was on the bike when we slowed down for construction. When we came around the bend, there was a buck standing in the road looking back over his shoulder. Suddenly two does came out of the tree line and they crossed the road. This would not have looked the same in the cage. You not only see the sights, but you feel. smell and just absorb the whole experience from the bike. I have seen Colorado, New Mexico, Idaho, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Kansas.
So let's review my last ten years that I would have missed if I hadn't lived. I have been retired, found a new career, had 3 more grandchildren, been to new places like Yellow Stone and Mnt. Rushmore, turned 50, met new friends, taught my grandkids at school, gotten paid to write, was an extra in a movie, have place on the IMDB website, and much much much more.
These past ten years that have been, have added so much love and happiness to my life. I cannot imagine how different my eulogy would be if I had not had these years. I am so sorry for Phillip Seymour's family and friends. I hope he knew how important he was to the people he left behind. I am sorry that his demons won and took him from this world too soon. I hope that he has found peace on the other side.